Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has spoken of his pride at joining the small group of players to have won 100 England caps as he prepares to reach the landmark against Brazil on Wednesday evening, the BBC
Cole revealed that he was inspired to become a professional footballer after a conversation with David Rocastle, the Arsenal midfielder, who died from cancer in 2001. Cole, who began his career with the Gunners, said: “I am proud, privileged and overwhelmed by how many times I have done it. After he spoke to me for those five minutes, it was all I wanted to be.
“I supported Arsenal at the time and he was someone I wanted to be like. Now I look back and think what a great career I have had but I will never forget speaking to him,” Cole added.
Cole made his England debut against Albania in 2001 and will win his 100th cap 12 years later after manager Roy Hodgson confirmed the 32-year-old will start the match. In doing so, Cole will become only the seventh player to reach three figures for England, after Billy Wright, Sir Bobby Moore, Sir Bobby Charlton, Peter Shilton, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard – the latter two teammates of Cole, with Gerrard lining up alongside the defender against the South Americans.
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